A Sermon
Published on Thursday, January 21st, 1915.
Delivered by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

On Thursday Evening, 25th August, 1870


Provided by
Spurgeon Ministries
Bath Road Baptist Church

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And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts.

--Haggai 2:7

THE second temple was never intended to be as magnificent as the first. The first was to be the embodiment of the full glory of the dispensation of symbols and types, and was soon to pass away. This comparative feebleness had been proved by the idolatry and apostasy of the people Israel, and when they returned to Jerusalem they were to have a structure that would be sufficient for the purposes of their worship, but they were not again to be indulged with the splendours of the former house which God had erected by the hand of Solomon. Had it been God s Providence that a temple equally magnificent as the first should be erected, it might have been very readily accomplished. Cyrus appears to have been obedient to the divine will, and to have been a great favourer of the Jews, but he expressly by edict diminished the length of the walls and gave express command that the walls should never be erected so high as before. We have also evidence that a like decree was made by Darius, an equally great friend of the Jews, who could with the lifting of his finger have outdone the glory of Solomon s temple, but in God s Providence it was not arranged that so it should be, and though Herod, not a Jew, and only a Jew by religious pretence to suit his own particular purpose, lavished a good deal of treasure upon the second temple, for the pleasure of the nation he ruled, and to gain some favour from them, yet he rather profaned than adorned the temple, since he did not follow the prescribed architecture by which it ought to have been built, and he had not the divine approval upon his labours. No prophet ever commanded, and no prophet ever sanctioned, the labours of such a horrible wretch as that Herod. The reason seems to me to be this. In the second temple, during the time it should stand, the dispensation of Christ was softly melted into the light of spiritual truth. The outward worship was to cease there. It seems right that it should cease in a temple that had not the external glory of the first. God intended there to light up the first beams of the spiritual splendour of the second temple, namely, his true temple, the Church, and he would put a sign of decay on the outward and visible in the temple of the first. Yet he declares by his servant, Haggai, that the glory of the second temple should be greater than the first. It certainly was not so as in respect of gold, or silver, or size, or excellency of architecture; and yet it truly was so, for the glory of the presence of Christ was greater than all the glory of the old temple s wealth; and the glory of having the gospel preached in it, the glory of having the gospel miracles wrought in its porches by the apostles and by the Master, was far greater than any hecatombs of bullocks and he-goats--the glory of being, as it were, the cradle of the Christian Church, the nest out of which should fly the messengers of peace, who, like doves, should bear the olive branch throughout the world. I take it that the decadence of the old system of symbols was a most fitting preparation for the incoming of the system of grace and truth in the person of Jesus Christ; and the second temple hath this glory which excelleth, that while the first was the glory of the moon in all its splendour, the second is the moon going down: the sun is rising beyond her, gilding the horizon with the first beams of the morning.

I intend to speak to you at this time about the true spiritual temple; the true second temple, the spiritual temple, which, I think, is here spoken of--although the second temple literally is also intended--the true spiritual temple built up, according to the text, of the desire of all nations.

I find this passage a very difficult one in the original; and it bears several meanings in itself. The first meaning that I give you, though it runs contrary to the great majority of Christian expositors, is the most accurate explanation of the original. We shall bring in the other explanations by-and-by. Reading it thus, I will shake all nations, and the desire--the desirable persons, the best part, or as the Septuagint reads it, the elect of all nations--shall come. They shall come--the true temple of God, and they shall be the living stones that shall compose it; or, as others read it, The desirable things of all nations shall come, which is, no doubt, the meaning, because the eighth verse gives the key: The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts. The desirable things of all nations are to be brought in as voluntary offerings to this true second temple, this spiritual living temple.

Let us begin, then, and take that sense first, and in this case we are told, in the text concerning this second temple, what these living stones are:--

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